happy team members at work smiling

The people that work in your business should be considered as one of the biggest assets that a company has. Happy, motivated employees not only enhance customer experiences but also reduce the burdens of recruitment and training costs.

However, retaining staff isn’t just about providing a decent paycheck; it’s about cultivating a culture where employees feel valued and supported.

Below we share seven key strategies that can help you retain your staff:

1 – Start with your “why”

I read “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek a few years ago and it remains one of the best business books that I’ve ever read today. The key concept of the book is a simple one:

Great businesses know why they’re doing what they do – and this mission becomes their guiding principle.

If everyone in your team is sharing the same values or beliefs and you are all working towards the same why, this builds trust between the team members. Trust is important as it becomes the foundational building block of culture and a positive culture in your business is key for retaining staff.

Another great way of reinforcing your why is sharing information about the company’s performance with your team – if there is open and clear communication about how the company is performing financially, the employees will feel empowered and responsibility for the performance of the company too.

If you are using a package such as Xero, it’s possible to setup a report that shows the information that you want to share with the employees, so you don’t have to share information about individual salaries if you want to keep this information confidential.

2 – Offer competitive salaries

It’s important that you are regularly reviewing your salaries to ensure that the amounts that you are paying your staff are both in line with market expectations and reflect the effects of the inflationary pressures that have been present in the economy over the last couple of years. This is particularly important if your employees are living in London/the Southeast as the cost of living in these areas is much higher than in other parts of the country.

If you are unsure of what you should be paying for roles, there are plenty of resources available, such as the RIBA annual Benchmarking Report that set out clear guidelines for this.

If your business is struggling to pay the required salaries, it’s vital that you are reviewing your management accounts regularly and taking active steps to improve the profitability of your practice.

3 – Be flexible about working from home

Working from home has become a key part in how we work nowadays, and it’s pretty much expected that employers get on board with it. When it’s done right, it’s beneficial for everyone involved, boosting morale and productivity. But, like anything, it needs good management and clear expectations to keep things on track and ensure people keep learning and getting stuff done.

I have an architect client who’s taken things up a notch. They’ve been experimenting with a four-day workweek for the past nine months. They pay their employees full salaries for doing 90% of their usual work in just 80% of the time. It’s been quite a culture shift and there have been some hiccups along the way, but generally, the clients of the practice have been accepting of the change and the employees are loving the opportunities for personal development that comes from working a 4 day week.

4 – Encourage and promote a work/life balance

Work/life balance can be achieved by providing work-from-home opportunities, as mentioned above. Additionally, encouraging employees to establish clear boundaries, such as refraining from checking emails or addressing work-related matters outside of office hours, is crucial.

While this may prove challenging, especially when facing looming deadlines, fostering a culture of healthy work/life balance among employees will contribute to their long-term happiness and will likely mean that your employees are better organised in the long run.

5 – Create an emphasis on teamwork

When you foster a tight-knit team, it boosts employee morale and creates a supportive environment. Whether it’s organising a casual work night out or organising a special celebration for weddings and birthdays, stepping out of the office together for some social time is a great idea.


6 – Offer benefits to your employees

Offering an employee benefit package to your employees can go a long way in demonstrating that you care about the lives of your staff outside of work. It shows you are invested in supporting them in their health and well-being.

If you are thinking about offering benefits to your staff, you need to think about the tax implications as you may need to pay tax and National Insurance on the value of these.

Have a look at this article here for further details about the tax implications of different benefits in kind.

7 – Invest in training

Offering training to your employees is an important part of building on their skills and helping to build on staff loyalty as no one wants to feel stuck in a role without any opportunities for development. The training should be relevant, regular, and interesting, but well-rounded too – for example, we’ve had training at A4G about organisation, delegation, presentation skills and mindset – as well as lots of training about accountancy matters too!

Prioritising employee retention is crucial for the sustained success of any business. By implementing these seven strategies, you can create an environment where employees feel valued, motivated, and engaged. Remember, a happy workforce isn’t just an asset—it’s the heart of your business.